Effective January 1, 2024, the Department of State has authorized consular officers to waive required in-person interviews for an expanded subset of visa applicants.

Interviews now may be waived for the following categories:

  • First-time H-2 visa applicants (temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers). 
  • Visa applicants applying for any nonimmigrant visa classification, provided that the applicant:
    • was previously issued a nonimmigrant visa in any classification other than a B1/B2 visa; and
    • is applying within 48 months of their most recent nonimmigrant visa expiring.

To be eligible, all applicants seeking an interview waiver must:

  • Apply in their country of nationality or residence;
  • Have never been refused a visa (unless such refusal was overcome or waived); and
  • Have no apparent or potential ineligibility.

The authorization represents an expansion of candidates eligible for interview waiver.  In particular, consular officers previously had discretion to waive the in-person interview requirement only for individuals applying for renewal of nonimmigrant visas within 48 months of the prior US visa’s expiration date in the same visa classification.  The expansion permits waiver of interviews for individuals applying for nonimmigrant visas within 48 months of a prior US visa’s expiration date in any visa classification, with the exception of prior B1/B2 visas (for business visitors and tourists).

Waiver of in-person interviews is provided at the discretion of consular officers, who may still require in-person interviews on a case-by-case basis or because of local conditions.  We caution visa applicants that waiver of the in-person interview requirement does not guarantee faster visa processing by consular posts.